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The BRIDGE Centre

Building Relationships with Industry for Development, Growth and Efficiency


  • We provide science-based, econometric analysis and evaluation of change programmes, new policy implementations, and strategic changes within companies and organisations.
  • We provide tailored advice on innovative methods to achieve desired outcomes, and assistance in implementing them in suitable firms in a cost-efficient manner.
  • We design, implement and evaluate trial models within firms, using scientific methodology to establish their effectiveness and optimise their impact.
  • We keep up to date with the newest econometric techniques and methods – in fact, we develop some of them – and thus can provide best possible precision and can accurately determine causality.
  • Our goal is to further economic knowledge, not financial gains. We therefore represent a mutually beneficial and incredibly cost-efficient solution to problems faced by businesses on a daily basis.

We do not have a crystal ball. However, this is as close to predicting the future effects of your business decisions as science can get.

Who we are

BRIDGE was created in 2016 as a branch of the Royal Holloway Department of Economics. The purpose of BRIDGE is to create and develop mutually beneficial and lasting relationships between academic economists and the private sector. We believe that the combined expertise resultant of partnerships between industrial leaders and innovative academic researchers can and will result in ground-breaking expertise and deliver world-changing efficiency gains in today’s fast-paced and ever changing business environment.

Our team includes the perfect mix of specialists in the field of econometrics and applied behavioural economists who specialise in the successful scientific implementation of Randomised Control Trials (RCTs).

Royal Holloway’s Department of Economics, established 20 years ago, is today considered ‘world-leading’ for its research, ranking in the top ten of the national Research Excellence Framework in 2014. We are especially proud of our scores for the real-world impact of our research, ranking 7th, marginally below Cambridge.

Members of the team and their expertise

  • Dr. Michael Naef (co-founder and chair) – Behavioural economist and expert in designing and implementing randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
  • Neil Scott (co-founder) – Labour economist and econometrician, specialising in policy analysis.
  • Celia Blanco Jiménez (co-founder) – Behavioural economist and expert in RCTs.
  • Prof. Francesco Feri – Behavioural economist and expert in implementing RCTs in developing regions.
  • Dr. Pierre-Olivier Fortin – Finance expert with many years of experience in risk management consulting.
  • Prof. Jeff Frank – Macroeconomist and labour market expert.
  • Mr. Chris Howorth - Expert in managerial economics and years of experience in consulting with a wide range of businesses and public sector organisations such as the NHS.
  • Dr. Melanie Lührmann – Microeconomist and econometrician; expert in policy analysis; also affiliated to IFS.
  • Dr. Ram Patra – Expert in the theory of Industrial Organisation.
  • Prof. Alessio Sancetta – Econometrician, years of experience as algorithmic trader and investment banker.
  • Prof. Jonathan Wadsworth – Labour economist and econometrician; Deputy Director at CReAM; Senior Fellow at CEP; currently an economist at the NHS Pay Review Body. 

Why you should consider making use of our expertise

You are trying to improve the overall effectiveness and productivity of your workforce. Or perhaps you want to improve innovation and creativity. You want to achieve your aim by setting appropriate incentives, by providing ideal environments, or by improving collaborative and productive processes.

We offer to analyse and evaluate your processes, strategies and policies to the highest scientific standards, with cutting edge methods.

This will

  • Help you prevent costly mistakes
  • Allow you to optimise the impact of changes
  • Provide you with precise understanding of what is happening in your business

The science

Determining the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of new policies, initiatives and strategies requires strong economic and econometric knowledge. Econometrics is a complex science that unifies statistics, mathematics and economic theory. Econometrics is constantly evolving; new techniques arise every week, allowing, for instance, ever more precise interpretations of causal relationships. Applying the latest insights into a business context requires trained experts who have their finger at the pulse of the latest developments, or, better still, those who are actively involved in developing the science.

Randomised Control Trials
Our team’s applied behavioural economists specialise in Randomised Control Trials (RCTs). RCTs are known to be the gold standard for isolating the impact of a new strategy from everything else that may be affecting the outcome. They are the most effective way to explore the effectiveness of new ideas and strategies. In turn, our econometricians have the tools and expertise to analyse large amounts of data and are able to judge what can and what cannot be learned from a certain data set.

What makes us different from consultants

  • We apply newer, cutting edge techniques.
  • We have better access to useful data.
  • We are trained to the highest possible level in the scientific methods we employ.

It is commonplace for the private sector to find enormous value in the employment of specialist consultants. We do not seek to replace such relationships, but rather supplement them. Whilst the practical know-how of consultants is invaluable, academic economists are trained to a much higher level in mathematical and statistical modelling of many variables, all of which interact with one another simultaneously. Further, research institutions have access to huge amounts of data that consultants do not. It is our job to stay up to date with new developments in economic and statistical knowledge, and we are able to accurately interpret any relevant published findings. For instance, hundreds of RCTs are made available to the scientific community every year. Academic economists keep track of such research developments daily, and are able to assess how relevant they are in the context of your business.

Years of research training provides us with skills and analytical thinking that are simply not attainable elsewhere. This is why it has become increasingly common for the public sector to utilise the services of academic economists. Many of the most successful government policies in the past few decades have been implemented with close supervision from academic economists, using the tools of their trade to optimise policies, and more importantly, ensure they achieve the desired outcome before expensive widespread implementation. Shrewd private sector leaders do often employ our services similarly, but we remain an underutilised resource. 

Why we do this

With the advent of super- and cloud computing, big data, and the ability to do vast amounts of number crunching, the science of econometrics is developing at a speed never seen before. New techniques are developed on a weekly basis.

However, by the time that new techniques and methods have trickled down into university/MBA teaching and are implemented in firms, they are often no longer up to date. As academics, we therefore usually have to choose: EITHER we research cutting edge models on a theoretical level, OR we study older models being applied in business contexts.

By sharing our up-to-date, current expertise with your organisation, we gain the fairly unique opportunity to study the newest techniques and methods being applied in real business contexts. This is incredibly valuable to us, since it provides us with the opportunity to contribute to the better understanding of our science.

Our gain lies in the furthering of knowledge, and therefore we do not require the kind of financial remuneration typical for consultancy work. As such, we represent an incredibly cost-effective and mutually beneficial resource for conquering all kinds of challenges and opportunities within your business.


bridgeThe BRIDGE Centre
Department of Economics
Royal Holloway
University of London
TW20 0EX



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